Sub $2k Gravel bikes

Yeah, only had her two weeks so fine tuning position. Think it’s almost there.

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What rim/tire combo are you fitting 40s on there? I love my Crux. Its my road, gravel and cx bike.


I have Stan’s Iron Cross rims (20mm internal width). I have to run a true 40mm tire, not one that runs oversized. I’ve been using Clement/Donnelly MSO X’Plor tires. They measure spot on 40mm on these rims. I could go way wider on the front but I’m maxed out on the rear.

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Does anyone in the US have experience with Ribble? They have pretty crazy budget priced bikes that caught my attention but I’ve never seen anyone ride them here.

I too am interested in the CGR. It seems like a nice bike and the bike builder gives you some serious flexibility to build it to your budget/spec.

I only wish that retailers that have those options could opt to leave off components. For instance, I’d rather just upgrade the bars and stem on my road bike and then potentially move those over (if they worked for the fit).

I’d be hesitant to buy a Ribble bike because it would be so hard to return or make a warranty claim.

There was also a thread on weight weenies about a Ribble frame. The frame wasn’t prepped very well - like disc brake mounts not faced.

pretty happy with kinesis tripster at

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The advice on a used CX bike is very good. It will be light and good for climbing. I myself went for a Felt Breed 30. $1800 new and decently light for an ALu gravel bike, grx or SRAM, carbon seat post/fork, thru axles. But I wanted 650b tires, alu, short-ish chainstays and longer reach, for more flat/rolling terrain, with fat tires. I did replace the heavy wheels with Santa Cruz Reserves, which knocked over a lb off and it climbs way easier. Looks sharp too.

i was looking into the orbea terra aluminum bike which is around 2k. Mike’s bikes carries it and might have it in store for you too look at (after the shelter-in-place is done). Plus they also have deals every now and then which might drop the price a bit lower.

it’s on my gravel bike list but still doing research/reading reviews to see what people think about it overall.

I managed to snag a 2019 Trek Boone 5 with Force cranks for $1750 with an extra rival derailleur, chain, and cassette. 17.5lbs… good deals are out there!

That being said I still want a nice metal gravel bike, but that’s for another year.

My local classifieds are loaded with CX/gravel bikes now. I bet if you check yours you will be able to find a $3000+ bike for your price point. I picked up a SuperX last October, but since then I’ve kept my eyes peeled and there have been many drool-worthy bikes posted. I wish I could justify having more than 1!

Felt Breed 30. You’d be hard-pressed to find better bang for your buck in the gravel market.

That does have some nice specs for the

Cyclingtips just did a big roundup of gravel bikes at all sorts of price points including the previously mentioned Salsa Warbird. The individual reviews are trickling out on their site.


Lots of Topstone recs, so I thought i’d offer some thoughts on my Topstone.

I was also recently in the market for a budget gravel bike and went with the allow Topstone Apex 1. It’s been great, thus far, and has been getting more use than my road bike and mountain bikes .

I mostly went with the Topstone because the price was right and I was curious about using a dropper post on a gravel bike. I’ve been pretty pleased thus far, with a few quibbles. One thing to note is the 1x stock gearing feels a little limited for my fitness level (3.2 w/kg) and geographic area (also Nor Cal). I tend to ride lots of singletrack other rides that would be more appropriate for an XC mountain bike and sometimes found myself wanting a bit more than the 42t granny gear out back. An upgrade to a cassette with a 46t granny gear cured this (the Apex derailleur handles this fine, despite claiming a 42t limit). Another quibble is that the bottom bracket feels extremely low. This only presents an issue if you intend to ride singletrack with exposed roots and rocks, and likely won’t impact you on gravel roads. The low BB can lead to pedal strike in places you would not expect, especially when you’re drilling it on singletrack and not being terribly careful with your pedal stroke. The plus side (and I consider this a major plus) is that the low bottom bracket contributes to a very stable feel while descending. I’m too lazy to check the geo charts and compare with other gravel bikes, but I have have found the bike to be a ripper on descents - the dropper post is huge factor contributing to this, and I suspect the head angle and geo reflects this descending/stability emphasis. I don’t care about the weight penalty of the dropper and I don’t think i could go back to riding gravel without one.

If going up hills as fast as possible is the only thing you care about, you might find the bike a little portly and sluggish for the aforementioned reasons that contribute to the descending prowess.

I think the Topstone is a good choice if you intend to ride a mix of singletrack, fire roads, and rutted out fire roads that act more like trails, and don’t value weight savings above all else. If you intend to ride roads that happen to be gravel, and care a lot about weight, consider looking elsewhere.

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Yeah I waiting for the budget reviews to come in.

Thanks for the info. I’m not really sure what I’ll be riding most with the gravel like it will be in the Marin / Sonoma county area. But obviously I don’t have a ton of experience with gravel bc I don’t have a bike at the moment.

+1 for the revolt. Great bike at an affordable price.

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Cycling tips just put up their review of the Canyon Grail AL. Seems like a ‘best buy’. Caley’s comments seems more jaded than those of Abbey. I mean, it sounds like Caley has ridden a million different bikes. At that point, it might be hard to say that ‘this is an awesome bike for $1900’ without enthusiasm.